Tips On Caring For Pond

BALANCE your pond ecologically! A balanced pond is a beautiful, stable environment that requires minimal human attention and the serenity that you desire. Here are the top questions Richard Koogle, Director of Operations, Lilypons, says he is asked:

How many plants should I have?
For ponds that are less than 100 sq. ft., 60 to 70% of the surface should be covered with waterlilies, floating-leaf bogs or floating plants. Allowing for the fact that your plants will multiply every one to three years, this would equate to about 2 plants per every 40 sq. ft. To calculate sq. ft., multiply your pond’s width by the length. For ponds that are over 100 sq. ft., only 40 to 50% coverage is required, which would equate to approximately 2 plants per every 50 sq. ft. Lotuses and vertical bog plants provide a dramatic visual effect and should be stocked as desired.

How many scavengers and submerged plants should I have?
Submerged plants and snails should be stocked at a rate of 1 per sq.ft. for ponds under 100 sq ft. Stock 1 per 2 sq. ft. for ponds over 100 sq. ft.

How many fish should I have?
Stock goldfish at the rate of 1″ of fish per 5 gallons of water. Stock Koi at the rate of 1/2″ per 5 gallons of water. Koi make growing submerged plants, certain waterlilies and bog plants difficult, if not impossible to grow. This is why ponds with even one Koi require supplemental filtration to achieve balance. Ponds with goldfish may need additional filtration as well, though a properly stocked pond will need less. Remember, pond fish grow and may reproduce rapidly, so always plan for the future when considering filtration.

Should I line the bottom of my water garden with gravel or other materials?
The answer is simply “No”. Gravel will certainly provide more surface area for growing beneficial bacteria, but as time passes (a few seasons in cold climates–less than one season in warmer climates), naturally occurring organic debris builds up and works down into the gravel, preventing water circulation through the gravel.

This eventually leads to extreme difficulty in cleaning; we have found thorough cleaning impossible without complete removal of the gravel. A water garden without a gravel bottom is more aesthetically pleasing since the colorful flowers and fish contrast much better against the dark backdrop of a black liner than lightly hued gravel or stone.